$ 5 million bitcoin donation to Wharton marks biggest cryptocurrency giveaway for UPenn
The famous Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania received a donation of $ 5 million in bitcoin, the biggest gift the Ivy League School has accepted in cryptocurrency, as it opens up a new way to give to old students.
The anonymous donation, which will help financial technology programs at business school, “marks a new era and a new way of giving to the university,” Wharton Dean Erika James said in a statement Thursday.
This follows the university accepting its first cryptocurrency gift from an alumnus in January, John Zeller, senior vice president of development and alumni relations, said in an interview with MarketWatch.
School cryptocurrency donations are processed through NYDIG, the bitcoin subsidiary of alternative asset manager Stone Ridge, and sold immediately, according to Zeller. The university chose NYDIG as a partner in part because the school wanted to avoid creating its own portfolio and could rely on the company for due diligence, he said.
â€œIf a donor wants to donate using Bitcoin, they work with NYDIG,â€ Zeller said. While the University of Pennsylvania has the option of holding the cryptocurrency, â€œwe sell it as it is receivedâ€ as a rule, he said.
The $ 5 million bitcoin donation will benefit the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance in Wharton, a financial technology center that is attracting growing interest from Penn students, according to the university. They are discovering “the digital currency ecosystem” by engaging with business school professors and financial institution leaders, the Ivy League School said.
The University of Pennsylvania can accept donations of cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin, according to Zeller. They are another way to make a payment, he said, adding that the school does not receive such gifts to make a profit on their future value.
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It has been a hectic week for cryptocurrencies, as well as for US stocks.
At the last check on Wednesday, Bitcoin BTCUSD,
changed hands around $ 38,000 on CoinDesk, down from a low of $ 30,201.96 in 24 hours before rebounding. The cryptocurrency fell from an all-time high of over $ 64,000 in April, according to CoinDesk, but was still up around 31% for the year, based on Wednesday’s trading.
This compares to an S&P 500 Index SPX,
gain of 9.6% this year to Wednesday, the DJIA of the Dow Jones Industrial Average,
10.8% rise and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP,
up 3.2% on the same stretch, according to FactSet data.
Some Bitcoin bulls may still be reluctant to give up their cryptocurrency.
Tim Draper, founder of venture capital firm Draper Associates, told MarketWatch’s online crypto event in April that when he “gave money to Stanford,” the university had expressed a desire to bitcoin rather than fiat currency. â€œI said ‘no,’ Draper recalled at the MarketWatch and Barron’s Investing in Crypto event, adding that he would not be inclined to sell bitcoin either.
“Why would I want to take the currency of the future and move it to the currency of the past?” he said at the event, comparing the idea of â€‹â€‹turning euros into drachma or French francs.
Stanford University “is able to accept gifts of certain types of cryptocurrency, including bitcoin,” a spokesperson for the school said in an email. â€œWe work with each donor individually to fit the asset offered.â€
â€œFrom a fundraising perspective, I think that’s just another arrow in the quiver,â€ Zeller said of crypto donations. “This is another tool to meet the interests of donors.”